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“JP Jones may well be the best modern folk musician in the country, a man who in the past attracted the ears of giants yet today remains a virtual unknown. With his 12th CD on the way, it’s well past time the light shone on such riveting talent.” --Mark Tucker - OpEdNews.com


David Correia recorded the basic tracks (and mastered the finished recordings) along with Vinny Pagano(drums), Marty Ballou (electric and stand-up bass), and my piano, guitar, harp and vocals live at Celebration Sound in three evening sessions in November, 2005.  Marty in particular enjoyed working on "Ezmerelda" and wanted to keep doing more takes.  If I can't find the song in the first few tries, I have to either abandon the tune or come back to it another day.   We did edit two versions of "Us and Them" together to get the best of both takes. 

There was a lot of overdubbing at home, as you can read in the CD liner notes, though only one lead vocal phrase was an over-dub.   "The Fire and the Rose" required a similar preliminary  as I took with "69er Diner" and "Crossroads Where I Stand" during the Angels on the Road sessions.   Songs this long, I told everybody, can be stopped by anyone in the first minute and a half or so-- after that, if I haven't called a halt, we go on to the finish.  It simply isn't practical or "artistic" to fool around... "mistakes" are part of the process.  And you can hear a few once in a while.  My concern is getting the heart of the song across.... and it sure does concentrate the attention of everyone involved, especially when there is minimal preparation -- as anyone who's worked with me will attest.


Magical Thinking is dedicated to the memory of Barry Cowsill"Time is a trick."


photo:carolyn jones

Produced by JP Jones with Andy Jones.
JP Jones:electric guitars and keyboards, harmonica, background vocal on "Prophet in His Prime."
Paul Geremia: harmonica on "Ezmerelda," "Wreck the Bed," and "That's All Right."
Mike Barrett: electric guitar on "Loaded Question," "Prophet in His Prime," "Sufficient," and National slide guitar on "That's All Right."
Barb Schloff-Arietta: accompanying vocals on "That's All Right," "Fool in Love."
Gianna Sullivan and Lisette Saint Germain: background vocals on "Sufficient" and "That's All Right."
Kevin Sullivan played a second bass on "A Man Stands Up," and sang with Andy Jones and JP on "That's All Right."
Johnny Juxo: accordion.
Jay White: congas.
John Hillman: electric guitar on "that's All Right."
Andy Jones: paint brushes on a cardboard box.

Claude Verdier took the cover portrait.

Special thanks to Marilyn Edge of The Marilyn Edge Agency, Donn Watson, Scott Menchin (graphic advice), Mark Quinn, Thom McCarthy, Doug and Ellen of Ontario.

a man stands up

when you're on your own
when the way is clear
when you know the cost
when you feel the fear
when the angel calls
and the demons draw near
a man stands up
a man stands up

when a sister's lost
when she's left behind
when a brother falls
on the hardest times
when a child's life
is on the line
a man stands up
a man stands up

with a tender heart
with an open mind
with a will to heal
where the world is blind
in the face of greed
and the party line
a man stands up
a man stands up

and the circle grows
and the family mends
and the warriors pause
recognize their friends
and the dance begins
and the killing ends
a man stands up
a man stands up

copyright jp jones 2004
charlestown, ri
may 2


prophet in his prime

i was some young poet that you took in
from the desperate regions of the dark
the truth comes out when nobody is lookin
the truth comes out in every human heart

i must suffer all that flesh is heir to
if you speak about me to your friends
you can tell em anything you care to
how it all got started, how it ends

this is from my emerging material
taken from a back page in my mind
this is one episode in a serial
a document of love in our time
take it from a prophet in his prime

ev'rything about me is mysterious
don't remember asking for this job
when i got the call it sounded serious
who am i for second-guessing god?

the only mortal flaw i ever heard of
when did your heart turn to ice?
when did mine?
don't give up on us but take the word of
a poet who has paid and made it rhyme


forget about the sins you should be pure of
focus on compassion, life is brief
there's one thing in this world at least I'm sure of
there's no divorcing gravity and grief

if you're one of those who can receive it
praise this holy miracle of grace
love's the only treasure whether anyone believes it
flickering in every single face


copyright jp jones 2003
danielson, ct
april 15


wreck the bed

come back baby
come home honey i'm blue
all i wanna do is drive ya crazy
and wreck the bed with you

i can't eat my supper
i can't sleep at all
got your letter
but i'd feel a lot better
with your high heels in the hall

miss your big girl legs
miss your cinnamon grin
miss my little fish's kisses
down where the waves roll in
down where the waves roll in


might be an old 4 poster
might be brass and lead
might be a futon on the floor
might be a feather bed

don't want no sierra nevada
don't want no muscatel
no substitute for the locomotive drivin
in the tunnel when you ring the bell

can't use no library
aint no book i read
can take the place
of the empty space
where your body fits in bed


you got somewhere to get to
you got somethin to do
i gotta letch but
i gotta betcha
i got sumpin for you

big red rooster
say cock a doo-dle doo
come back to the hen house honey
the nest is best with you


built a boat for sorrow
sailed on through the skies
all of stars fall to the floor
when i think about your butterfly eyes

takes a reckless sailor
a mariner who's wise
to navigate a hundred hearts now honey
and shipwreck in your thighs
shipwreck in your
come back baby
come home honey i'm blue
all i wanna do is drive you crazy
and wreck the bed with you

wreck the bed
wreck the bed
all i wanna do is drive ya crazy
and wreck the bed with you
wreck the bed with you

copyright jp jones 2005
old beach road


us and them

against the grey
against the sky as
high as
upon the hill 
under the will of a star
and every leaf
that's falling free
is like a prayer from my heart
that's holding on
that's letting go
and fading downward
to dark I fear

are like the stars
that spin in madness
holding on to hope
against the sadness with love
for every plan
for where we stand
for everything we believe
and still the night
is burning bright
and still we fight and
we grieve

whiskey on the brain
and only heart ache
to pay
brotherhood to claim
and something great left to say
as long as life
as long as death
as long as I'm standing, 
as long as us
as long as them
as long as we are
I will
love you

copyright jp jones 1997
griswold, ct



I'm like a parachute
i'm not a piece of cheese
i like my pepper with soup
true love can make me sneeze

some times i'm moody
some times i'm up
sometimes i take a walk into town
sometimes i strut

i like my heart all bitter
i crave the taste of heat
i swallow doves for dinner
use they feathers to pick my teeth

i smile for the hell of it
don't hide inside my shirt
my tears come down like elephants
my body is made of dirt


i like my sugar with tea
i like my bacon fat
i like my baby and me
tight like that

she is a ballerina
i am a honking loon
i blow on her ocarina while she
she bends my blue bassoon


no kitty cats on the table
no caterpillar took the cook
no concubine on the cable
can butterfly in my book

the moon is in the cupboard
the shoe is on the snake
i like my corn cob buttered with the
with the butter my baby makes


copyright jp jones 2004
april 7, josie's, newport


fool in love

the sun rose red as blood against the morning
the wildflowers made a sea of blue
and the blossoms were like words from some love song
i picked each one so carefully and brought em here to you

at the game of love i'm no beginner
there's not a passion in my heart i haven't tried
but you don't become the hardest of all sinners
until you love somebody with too much pride

there's no way to stop the wind from blowing 
there's no way to turn the ocean tide
there's no way to keep some things from showing
there's no way a fool in love can hide

perhaps they're right and i shouldn't have shown my feelings
you were just like the mountains so far away
but the truth just wasn't cut out for concealing
and if i had it all to do again i still would choose to say


there must have been ten thousand birds all morning
like a floating curtain stretched out across the sky
something must have told them to be leaving
something must have told my eyes to cry


copyright jp jones 1978


that's all right

you ask me how i'm doin
as you light my cigarette
i say i think i'm doin just fine
you say you wanna bet

that's all right
that's all right
it's just the way it should be 
that's all right

your girl friend's got designs on me
i can tell when she complains
your nakedness is so lovely dear
you'd look so good in chains

she's all right
she's all right
she's just the way she should be
she's all right

there's a show down on the earth tonight
they're packed in side by side
every one thinks they're the one
that's getting out alive


you know we all just do
the best we can
and nobody can see
more than he can stand

they'll take you out to dinner
they'll take you out to school
they'll take you out of context
they will take you for a fool


you know we all just do
the best we can
and nobody has ever seen
more than he can stand

they will poke you with an elbow
they'll punch you with a fist
and if no label sticks to you
they'll swear you don't exist


now I wear a pair of blinders
i keep a suitcase full of masks
i'm just what i appear to be
if anybody asks

i'm all right
i'm all right
i'm just the way i should be
i'm all right

you know you should not take it personally
if you can not stand to look at 
more than you can see

so if you'd like to be in touch baby
i'll be home here on the range
the only thing for certain
is that everything must change


copyright jp jones 1975


loaded question

i knew there was something about you
the first time i tripped on your smile
could make a man go
way out on a limb
but how could i ever imagine
how could i ever foresee
that when i got there
i'd find you there with him?

friends tried to warn me
right at the start
that you were too young
in affairs of the heart
i might as well have been 
shooting in the dark

but your eyes were so sad and so holy
and your faults were all so perfectly true
i didn't know that the question was loaded
or i wouldn't have aimed it at you

your hands were as cold as december
your eyes were as warm as july
you said you didn't love me
but you hoped in time you'd change
the leaves scraped by on the sidewalk
while a few billion years rolled by
can you understand how i
might have felt a little strange?

when there's a hole in your heart
like a black hole in space
that swallows up love
without leaving a trace
you can't believe in romance
so you make all the classic mistakes

or was it all an invention
was it all in my head
i didn't know that the question was loaded
if you didn't load it, who did?

can't you. can't you see me?
are you, are you blind?
or are you just afraid of what you'll find
somebody turned the lights off
and i'm stumblin around in the dark
you let me touch your soul
why can't i touch your heart

see me balance my brain
on the head of a crisis
come see me care and
not care what the price is
come see me, come see me
before the next sun rises

so what if you're a miner with tunnel vision
i live at the bottom of my mind
why don't you put a pair of dark glasses on
drop down and see me sometime

copyright jp jones 1979



ezmerelda naked as the sun
kiss the boys and keep them on the run
don't you need some one to hold you
don't you want no one to know you
you take love like a child
but you make it with no one

ezmerelda wounded by some one
fake a smile, make it look like fun
don't take any chances just
play the fancy dancer
the band is going strong
and the evening is still young

and i am not the one to promise
some man's love will last
for everyone who wants your soul
there's ten who want your ass
so go ahead and give your heart
and maybe it will break
but that's the chance you take

ezmerelda just like everyone
you're alone when all is said and done
the fire light is glowing
the winter winds are blowing
and everywhere i see
the setting of the sun

copyright jp jones, 1973
martha's vineyard



her voice is smoke and honey
her legs are poetry
she got a lot of boyfriends
but she come home to me

sufficient so 
sufficient for me

the way she wears her hair now
the smile on her lips
the mischief in her eyes
the swayin of her hips

she smell like christmas mornin
she taste like cherry wine
there's nothin i can't tell her
she is a friend of mine


she knows just how to tease me
she knows just how to please
i like the life i'm given
i get down on my knees

her head is on her shoulders
her feet are on the ground
she take me all the way there
and bring me back around

the way she whispers my name
the way she hold my hand
she knows just what i like
she like me like i am

[chorus and bridge]

she knows what's really what
she let the small stuff slide
the way she cuddle up
she is the perfect ride

copyright jp jones 2005
november 10, newport green


the fire and the rose

your hair is as dark as a raven's wing
you're as gentle as a dove
with your heart that weeps 
and your eyes that sing
you're all I'm dreaming of
what we've got here looks like
a simple case of unrequited love
and I play the fool whose heart knows no disguise

friends can't understand it
it's reasons they demand
it's possible to see the world
in a single grain of sand
but what words or song could possibly ever
make them understand
the universe I see inside your eyes?

no one really knows 
how deep true love goes

the poet with the glass heart
drops by on the run
with his book of pious ballads
and his arm around the sun
and he shows me where you carved your names 
on the handle of his gun
telling me, of course you were only kidding

the actor who would cast you
the leading lady in his art
tells me you can't be trusted
you only play the part 
and he shares with me a cigarette
and his constantly breaking heart
asking why it is you keep your feelings hidden

no one really knows
how deep true love goes

the dancer with his legs on fire
stops me on the street
says your silences are bitter
but your kisses are so sweet 
and I pat him on the shoulder
while the smoke pours from his feet
and tell him I think I know what he's
going through

casandra shakes her head
she said I'm only being used
to never be accepted
and never quite refused
she days we see just what we want to see
all she sees are ways to lose
and the countless ways her true love
wasn't true

no one really knows
how deep true love goes

guinnivere is queer
at least the handsome boys all say
they crucified her happiness
she died and came back gay
I heard her really laugh
when she saw how everyone must pay
to play a part that
somebody else has written

cleopatra never touches ground
in a chariot of fire
she holds the reigns on a team of lovers
and drives them with desire
when I turned her down for the love of you
she screamed,"You are a liar!"
then licked herself and purred just like a kitten

no one really knows
how deep true love goes

the boys come up to dance with you
and they tremble nervously
and while they hold you so close
they keep an eye on me
though they know I would not harm 
the soul of a flea
they turn away whenever they are kissing you

the girls all criticize me
and ask me why I'm blind
to give my heart so nakedly 
to one who won't be mine
and I stare right through their faces
into the face of time,
saying, tell me what it is you think I'm missing

no one really knows
how deep true love goes

romeo and juliette
come out at half past three
they make love in front of mirrors
while they watch it on TV.
saying, you mustn't believe in anything
that you can not see
and their eyes see only jealousy and violence

your girl friends send you messages
and their spells fill your ears
"it's not you that he's in love with--
it's some fantasy, we fear."
it seems the clearer that I speak my heart
the harder it is to hear
and finally I find that I'm reduced to silence

no one really knows
how deep true love goes

red and purple rain clouds
out race the setting sun
sometimes I feel so happy here
I'm almost numb
I may not ever win your heart
but justice will be done
and time can be so patient and forgiving

still my king lear smiles bitterly 
and says it's such a shame
till I have to ask him one more time
while the world begins to rain
which side of life would you throw away?
the pleasure or the pain
and is it possible to be a fool for living?

no one really knows
how deep true love goes

so I camp outside the village gates
and watch a pale moon rise
like a mirror on her lover, earth,
with those ancient hollow eyes
and I hear a million voices,
the laughter and the cries
and everyone a part of everyone else

then at midnight I find you in tears
alone and so afraid
asking why your friends have all turned on you
and your lovers have not stayed
and I answer, "till you believe in something strong enough
you'll probably be betrayed
till there's nothing left to keep you
from yourself"

no one really knows
how deep true love goes

copyright jpjones, 1976



Music and performances 2016 JP Jones. Site Design, Publishing  2016 Vision Company Records. All Rights reserved.